A new Emerson College poll released on Wednesday shows conservative Independent candidate Evan McMullin taking the lead in the Republican-dominated state of Utah, leading Donald Trump by four points, 31 percent to 27 percent, while Hillary Clinton is in third place at 24 percent.
The new poll confirms a shocking poll that came out one week ago showing McMullin soaring in the state into a virtual three-way tie between Trump and Clinton, taking into account the margin of error.
McMullin, unknown to voters just two months ago when he entered the race when no other constitutional conservatives stepped up to challenge Trump or Clinton, could become the first third-party candidate to win an individual state since 1968. The McMullin campaign is hoping to duplicate the success they’ve had in Utah in other Mountain West states like Idaho and Wyoming where they believe their message is well received.
Utah has voted for the Republican presidential nominee in every single election cycle since 1964 and is normally viewed as an easy win for any Republican presidential candidate. In 2012, for example, Mitt Romney took that state with 72.8 percent of the vote over Barack Obama and in 2008, John McCain, who got trounced by Obama, still garnered 62.6 percent of the vote.
During the GOP primary, Ted Cruz soundly defeated Donald Trump, earning 69 percent of the vote. The Emerson College poll notes that 51 percent of Utah GOP primary voters who voted for Cruz are voting for Evan McMullin, while just 29 percent are voting for Donald Trump.
The poll also found that McMullin is doing best in Utah among younger voters, ages 18-34, beating both Clinton and Trump among that demographic by a 14-point margin, 36-22 percent. Both Clinton and Trump have unfavorability ratings above 70 percent, according to the new Emerson poll.
Evan McMullin told FOX News’ Bret Baier on Sunday that he’s the “only conservative in this race” and said that he’s on the verge of accomplishing something that none of the other third-party candidates in the race are mathematically on the path to accomplish.
“The reality is, Bret, that you’ve got to compete to win states in our system. That’s how you get electoral college votes,” McMullin stated. “Gary Johnson and Jill Stein aren’t doing that,” he said, noting that his campaign is focused on the Mountain West state region where his message of conservativism is most receptive.
“I am the only conservative in this race. And it’s sad to say but it’s true,” McMullin declared when asked by Baier for his elevator pitch. “We’re also saying that we’re limited people, Mindy Finn and I — my running mate — we stand for limited government, we stand for a commitment to the foundational principles upon which our country was started — the idea that all men and women are created equal, that we all have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” he proclaimed.
McMullin admitted that his candidacy is certainly a longshot but said that he got in the race when he saw that no candidates in the race were standing for the American principles he holds dear.
He told Baier that the strategy behind his campaign is to block both Clinton and Trump from reaching 270 electoral votes, which would then throw the race to the House of Representatives, per the U.S. Constitution, which requires that a candidate would then be chosen among the top three electoral college vote getters.
“We got in because we thought the American people deserved better options,” McMullin explained to Baier. “It’s not ideal but it’s what had to happen. Otherwise, we’re standing for principle, which is something that the Republicans haven’t done and why they’re in such disarray.”
“And for people who say ‘You’re just a plant for Hillary Clinton to take votes away from Donald Trump?” Baier asked.
“I would say that if there are any plants in this race it would have to be Donald Trump as a plant for Hillary Clinton. I don’t think that’s the case — I think people are competing. I have a constitutional right to run for president which I’m exercising.
But the reality is Donald Trump is beating himself. He is an absolutely horrendous, terrible candidate. He has no business representing an entire party — he has no business being President of the United States.”
Evan McMullin proclaimed that his candidacy is the birth of a new conservative movement dedicated to the truth and said that those conservatives who are “sitting on the fence” and not endorsing Trump or those who have rejected Trump altogether aren’t showing strong leadership by stating who they’re for instead of just saying who they’re against.
“Real leadership is saying, ‘I don’t agree with that — I agree with this and then fighting for that but they’re not doing that — but that’s part of the problem here,” he asserted while noting that many Republicans are putting political power and party over principle and country.